Heavy Rotation: June 2017

My June Spotify playlist features my most-played songs from the past month. Please, share what you’ve been listening to lately, new and old!

Features this month:

Arcade Fire

There’s been a lot of buzz around the new album from Arcade Fire, and a lot of people are expecting it to be a disappointment. Yes, this single seems like a bit of a departure from their past trajectory, but it has me looking forward to hearing the whole album and not just the music, but the videos that will surely follow.

Planetarium from 4AD

Planetarium is a collaboration between Sufjan Stevens, The National’s Bryce Dessner, Nico Muhly, and drummer James McAlister. Being a fan of all of these musicians, it was no surprise that the track on this playlist (as well as the rest of the album) have been on nearly non-stop rotation at my house.

The collaboration first existed in a live performance in 2013 during a multi-night run at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, but this is the first time it’s available in a recorded format.

The inspiration for the songs comes from a lot of places, but mostly the vastness of space and how we fit in here. In an interview with NPR, Sufjan said:

“I knew I wanted to write songs. I didn’t want it to be like art music. So I thought that’s what I would bring, is just the lyrics. And at first it didn’t have lyrics, and we were naming everything based on astrology … we were just using our kind of horoscope-like concepts. And so I was thinking about astrology and then I started writing the lyrics and it started to shape into songs about the planets. So then I just decided to go with that. I mean lyrically it’s a word salad. Half the time I had no idea what I was saying. It was just like I was just grabbing.”

-Sufjan Stevens interview with Bob Boilen at NPR, June 8, 2017

Manchester Orchestra

I have way too much to say about Manchester Orchestra, but I have a feeling I might be doing an entire post on the forthcoming album this single comes from… but I’ll have to wait until the end of July for A Black Mile To The Surface to be released. Until then, find me laying in the grass in my back yard listening to this single watching as the stars come out each night.

A few more songs to highlight on this month’s playlist:

  • “Wall of Glass,” the first solo single from Oasis‘s Liam Gallagher. Most people think he’s kind of a jerk, which I’m not saying I disagree with… but even as a diehard Blur fan, I can’t stop listening to this song.
  • A new track from Kevin Morby
  • A single from London-based singer songwriter Amber Bain’s solo project The Japanese House

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